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98 Points by Robert Parker The Wine Advocate
Founded in 1903, the Argyros Estate is located on the island of Santorini, famed for its spiraling vines and white washed churches. In 1950, the Argyros vineyards were passed down to the founder’s son, who tripled the estate from 5 to 15 acres. Yiannis Argyros, the third-generation owner of the estate who took over in 1974, began looking beyond the local market for his wines. Today, Matthew Argyros, the fourth generation of family winemakers, continues his father's legacy by making legendary wines from Assyrtiko and other indigenous Santorinian varietals, using traditional techniques.
The estate vineyards are located primarily in Episkopi and Pyrgos, which are prime locations for Assyrtiko. The ungrafted vines range in age from 30 to over 150 years, and are trained into basket-shaped bowls, a traditional technique called "kouloura". The inorganic soil of the island of Santorini is naturally immune to Phylloxera and many other vineyard pests, reducing the need for synthetic herbicides & pesticides. Estate Argyros practices sustainable viticulture, using composted grape must as fertilizer, and plowing the vineyards with mules.
About the Vineyard
The grapes used for Estate Argyros Vinsanto are harvested from the oldest parcels of the estate. Located in Episkopi, the average age of the vines is 150 years old, with some vines over 500 years old. Yields are extremely low. The ungrafted vines are basket pruned, and dry farmed. Grapes are hand-picked in August.
Hand-picked grapes are spread out on the ground to sundry for 12-14 days. The raisinated grapes are then pressed, and undergo fermentation for approximately 2 months. The wine is aged in French oak barrels for 20 years, then bottle-aged for another year prior to release.
Argyros’ most high-end vinsanto is a long-lived wine, with potential to age over the next century. This wine is deep amber in color, with flavors of butterscotch, roasted coffee beans, raisins and cocoa. It is full-bodied with a beautiful balance of sweetness and acidity.
Enjoy this rich vinsanto with chocolate and chocolate based desserts, or creamy cheeses like Roquefort and Stilton.